During last weeks’ Spirit of Speyside festival, we were invited by the BenRiach’s Global Brand Ambassador Stewart Buchanan to join him in a tasting of their newly released triple distilled expression. In one of the distillery offices, a table was lushly filled with a selection of cheese, fruit and charcuterie, plus five mystery drams.
Starting with the BenRiach 10, with is characteristic appley fresh, barley-infused citrus scents, a handful anecdotes from Stewart and a snack or two from the available local delicacies in front of us, we were seamlessly re-introduced to the BenRiach 21. An even deeper layer of fruitiness was added into the distinctive mix of apples and citrus, with an extra touch of spice, dried fruits and creamy vanilla.
Heading back to the tasting room from a quick surprise tour through the distillery, the star of the day was revealed – the new, global travel retail exclusive, Triple Distilled expression. Distilled every year, starting in December 2006 in their last production week before silent season, the distillery will make about 20-25.000 litres of a triple distillation run.
In 1998, 68 casks were filled with a spirit that was distilled three times and were released in 2010 as a 12 year old bottling called “Horizons”, also as a global travel retail exclusive. After a short period where the distillery was mothballed, the new owners decided to reboot this triple distillation run resulting in today’s 10 year old triple distilled bottling.
This is the first release of those runs, matured in a combination of first fill American Oak bourbon barrels and first fill Pedro Ximenéz Sherry casks for at least 10 years. The result is an astounding combination of the distillery character, thus maintaining the barley focus, combined with powdered sugar, vanilla, honey, breakfast cereals and different orchard fruits.
This new expression will be released in the global travel retail market where it will join the classic and peated BenRiach Quarter Casks, having an unpeated, peated and triple distilled range in their ‘troika’ of styles.
Before ending the tasting, the 10 year old peated BenRiach the “Curiositas”, lead us through its warm, heathery and honey notes with a dash of old-fashioned laurel liquorice to the yet unreleased “Temporis”, a 21 year old peated expression, with an even deeper layer of warm fruits, with a friendly amount of peatiness and a hint of thyme.
Many thanks to Stewart and his team for the invite, showing the distillery and sharing the drams, anecdotes and knowledge with us.
Thomas & Ansgar